Thread Number: 50057
Avacado 906 set in Ohio
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Post# 722761   12/23/2013 at 17:52 (3,764 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        

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Post# 722771 , Reply# 1   12/23/2013 at 18:51 (3,764 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Email sent. Waiting for a reply..,

Post# 722810 , Reply# 2   12/23/2013 at 22:57 (3,763 days old) by Pulsator (Saint Joseph, MI)        

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Post# 722845 , Reply# 3   12/24/2013 at 05:38 (3,763 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Go get 'em, Ben!

Post# 722887 , Reply# 4   12/24/2013 at 10:36 (3,763 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Per the seller, the set was sold last night. Anyone here the lucky new owners?


Post# 722899 , Reply# 5   12/24/2013 at 11:55 (3,763 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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WOW! That sux! Maybe next time...



Post# 722903 , Reply# 6   12/24/2013 at 12:34 (3,763 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Yeah Kenny, let's just say I wasn't holding my breath... LOL

Post# 722907 , Reply# 7   12/24/2013 at 12:58 (3,763 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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"Sux" isn't the word - there just ain't many "next times" on 906s.

A lot of us have just decided to settle for 806s - fewer calories, less filling, but what the hell.

I only hope this set went to someone who knew what it is and will restore and appreciate it, not someone who wanted a used set to put in a rental or something like that. Enough strange and terrible things happen to once-valuable TOL machines; I often see stuff that makes me wonder: "How did something that started out as an expensive, TOL, full-featured and highly-desirable appliance come to this?"

Post# 723060 , Reply# 8   12/25/2013 at 10:13 (3,762 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
Very sorry, I know how it feels to come so close,,,

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I don't know how desirable 906's were when they were for sale. In my beginning appliance years from 1968 on, I NEVER once saw a 906 washer or dryer on display at any Maytag dealer I went to. And I was looking for them. I assume they were usually a special order, since, at the time, they were most likely the most expensive washer and dryer an American could buy. Like all of you, I would love to own a set.

Post# 723108 , Reply# 9   12/25/2013 at 18:31 (3,762 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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My dad ran his service business from the back of a Maytag dealer here in town. I remember at least 1 906 set, in white on the floor.

Post# 723113 , Reply# 10   12/25/2013 at 19:19 (3,761 days old) by scoots (Chattanooga TN)        

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Ok, so now tell me how much they went for?

Post# 723115 , Reply# 11   12/25/2013 at 19:29 (3,761 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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I always felt the marketing on the 906s was a little "off," impacting sales.


Well, that sounds nice, until you get a couple of pages further into the brochure and read the ad copy for the A806: "A WASHER DESIGNED FOR THE WOMAN WHO WANTS TO SET HER OWN WASHING PROCEDURES."

That's when the penny drops: If you buy the "programmed" washer, you have no flexibility. If you buy the other washer, you can do as you see fit.

Most housewives could tell you: Household tasks don't follow a set of inflexible rules, so a machine that only "does what it does" would not meet every possible need. And even if a household's laundry presented no special problems, people like to do things their way, tailoring cycles, detergents and additives to meet real or imagined needs. Which makes "a washer designed for the woman who wants to set her own washing procedures" much more appealing than one that tells you, in effect, "I'm gonna do what I'm gonna do and there ain't nuthin' you can do about it."

I think it's instructive to compare the A906 to its immediate contemporary, the 1966 Lady Kenmore. Three speeds, that double row of keys, and the dial to modify things to your heart's content - that's what housewives wanted!

We know who won that sales race. The A906 is a magnificent piece of equipment. But it just wasn't what housewives were looking for at the time, I'm thinking. Maytag's blundersome ad copy didn't help.

P.S.: If anyone wants to see the brochure for the "New Generation" Maytags which covers the A906 and A806, it's on Automatic Ephemera.

Post# 723117 , Reply# 12   12/25/2013 at 19:51 (3,761 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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I don't have MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) information for the A906. However, jons1077 once posted the 1970 Maytag brochure, and in the copy he scanned, someone jotted down prices being asked by their local dealer.

The A806 has $409.95 jotted down above the washer's picture, which was a LOT of money for a washer then. There is no price written down for the A906, but we can assume that it was somewhat more than the A806, perhaps $429.95 or even $459.95 - there was a very expensive timer unit providing the "programmed" magic behind the A906. Price increases were modest in those years, so I'm assuming that the 1966 price of Maytags wasn't a whole lot different than the 1970 price I found.

By contrast, the catalog price of the 1966 Lady Kenmore was $239.95 when it debuted - and the machine looked far fancier than the somewhat austerely styled Maytag.

It was just no contest.

Post# 723296 , Reply# 13   12/26/2013 at 20:46 (3,760 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Needless to say that often machines so TOL--especially WASHERS--get picked on for Vocational School Projects, just because of the way the multitudes of features & their great complexities make for examples of what can go wrong w/ complicated appliances... Even if a potential graduate is likely to dote $100-bills to a number of clients urging them to just go out & buy a new machine, hence scrapping such vintage treasures... Just to suddenly have to call these very repairmen to fix what they'd just bought & be fraught w/ frequent repairs in even shorter amounts of time...

The rest, sadly because of being so fancy & their owners not as courageous or affluent will let these magnificent mechanical marvels rust away only to invest in models not nearly as romantic or "Do-All" just because of the potentially unreliable electronics making for more complicated washing & usage & the need for repairs being more obvious...

(A good sign of why a machine like Maytag's 906, could NOT survive past the center dial era..., and an 806-like model (sans the dashboard lighting) was its flagship model, thereafter!)

Incidentally my 1981 CONSUMERS REPORTS buying guide seems to give a good description of what would be a 906 Dryer, under the "Models Not Tested" column, after reviewing a model, several models down: "Lacks Timed Setting; Has Console Lighting and Drum Light", though no word on it being all-pushbutton, except for the model below it being what would be an 806, in that it does have Timed & Auto Settings, in addition to the interior & panel lighting...

-- Dave

Post# 723505 , Reply# 14   12/28/2013 at 07:46 (3,759 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
But she would have never sprung for them...

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I disagree. Unlike so many of the TOL's we all salivate over, the A906 washer was designed, maybe ironically, more for women than their geek husbands when compared to a lot of the bells and whistles machines. The 906 was unique: it was a TOL that looked like it had no bells or whistles. They were deceptively simple like the Bang & Olufsen audio equipment that was to come. I've said this before; this machine would have been IDEAL for a woman like my own Mother who would have been all too happy to just load the machine, push one button and walk away. In fact, given my Mother's history with fancy appliances, my Mother would have pushed the same button on that 906 every time she washed. She would have never used the bleach dispenser and a Chernobyl  lint core would have formed inside the agitator.


The 906 and 806 dryers were essentially identical; the only difference is that the former had 4 buttons to push and the latter had a dial with only 4 settings that you pushed in to start the thing. I don't know how the 906 was activated but I assume one pushed the cycle button in and held it for a bit. Again, had the automatic cycle worked properly, she wouldn't have cared about the lack of "flexibility" had the clothes been dry at the end. And the "Permanent Press", "Delicate" and "Air-Fluff" cycles wouldn't ever have been used. And as for the fancy fluorescent lights in the control panels, by the time the ballasts warmed up the bulbs, she would have been outta that laundry room. Rest in Peace, Ma.

Post# 723507 , Reply# 15   12/28/2013 at 08:17 (3,759 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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I don't disagree with you - that customer was definitely out there. But I don't think there were as many women who thought that way as there were women who had to have flexibility. A blue-collar family's * wash at that time could encompass greasy coveralls, white dress shirts, lingerie, boy's blue jeans and organdie party dresses for a little girl.

There was many a midcentury mom whose dreams of luxury and glamour died hard when it came to life's practicalities.

* It should be remembered that in the days of strong, effective unions, blue-collar workers could make very good money indeed; TOL appliances were not at all beyond their means. In my paternal grandparents' neighborhood, a Lady Kenmore washer and dryer pair were pretty much de rigueur.

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